PhytoKeys 12: 53–57, doi: 10.3897/phytokeys.12.3221
A new species of Camchaya (Asteraceae, Vernonieae) from Thailand
Sukhonthip Bunwong 1, Pranom Chantaranothai 2, Sterling C. Keeley 3
1 Maejo University Phrae Campus, Mae Sai, Rong Kwang, Phrae 54140, Thailand
2 Applied Taxonomic Research Center, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
3 Department of Botany, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 3190 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

Corresponding author: Sukhonthip Bunwong (;

Academic editor: Vicki Funk

received 12 April 2012 | accepted 4 May 2012 | Published 8 May 2012

(C) 2012 Sukhonthip Bunwong. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 (CC-BY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Camchaya thailandica Bunwong, Chantar. & S.C.Keeley, sp. nov. from Phu Phrabat Historical Park, Udon Thani, Thailandis described as a new species. Plant of this new species are similar to Camchaya gracilis (Gagnep.) Bunwong & H.Rob. but differ in having ovate phyllaries without margin spines, 10-ribbed achenes, and broadly ovate leaves. This species is a rare endemic known only from the type collection and probably confined to open areas of sandstone hills in Udon Thani province.


Asteraceae, Compositae, Vernonieae, Camchaya, Thailand, new species


Koyama (1984) described six species of Camchaya in Thailand, recognizing the genus based on the presence of 5–10 ribbed achenes and a bristle-like pappus on some florets, thus broadening earlier concepts of the genus by Kerr (1935) and Kitamura (1968).  Bunwong et al. (2009) reviewed the status of Camchaya eberhardtii (Gagnep.) Kitam., Iodocephalus glandulosus Kerr and Iodocephalus eberhardtii Gagnep. and recognized these taxa as Iodocephalopsis eberhardtii (Gagnep.) Bunwong & H.Rob. while Iodocephalopsis gracilis Thorel ex Gagnep. was recognized as Camchaya gracilis (Gagnep.) Bunwong & H.Rob. Continuing with these studies Bunwong (2010) found seven species of Camchaya including a new taxon,  Camchaya thailandica, described here. Camchaya thailandica is one of the five endemic Thai species: including Camchaya pentagona,  Camchaya spinulifera,  Camchaya tenuiflora,  and Camchaya gracilis. The two remaining species, Camchaya kampotensis and Camchaya loloana extend beyond Thailand into Laos, Cambodia and adjacent Yunnan, China.


Camchaya specimens examined were obtained from the following herbaria: AAU, BK, BKF, BM, CMU, E, K, KKU, L, P, QBG, and US. All measurements given herein were taken from field notes, dried herbarium specimens, and spirit collections. Pollen and achenes were obtained from field collections around Thailand by the first author. Pollen samples for the SEM work were acetolyzed (Erdtman 1960). Acetolyzed pollen was freeze-dried using the critical point drying method. Acetolyzed pollen, unacetolyzed achenes and leaf surfaces were then placed on specimen stubs with double sided silver tape and sputter coated with gold. Photomicrographs were taken with SEM (LEO, 1450VP; Applied Taxonomic Research Center, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University).

Camchaya thailandica Bunwong, Chantar. & S.C.Keeley, sp. nov.


Thailand. Prov. Udon Thani, rare on rocky areas in Phu Phrabat Historical Park. alt. 300 m, 17°43.84'N; 102°29.65'E, 29 September 2007 (flower) S. Bunwong 328 (holotype KKU, isotype US) (Figures 1–3). Known only from the type collection.

Annual. Inflorescences axillary or terminal, pedunculate. Phyllaries imbricate in 5–6 series, arachnoid-glandular, apices purple. Differs from Camchaya gracilis (Gagnep.) Bunwong & H.Rob. in having ovate acuminate rather than broadly ovate acute phyllaries without margin spines, 10-ribbed rather than 4–5-ribbed achenes, and broadly ovate leaves.

Annual herbs, 50–100 cm tall. Stems erect, rounded, inconspicuously ribbed, scabrous, hairs uniseriate, T-shaped, and glandular. Leaves alternate; petioles to 2 cm long; blades elliptic to oblong, 3–8 by 2–3 cm, chartaceous; bases attenuate, margins serrate, apices acute; both surfaces pubescent, hairs cylindric, T-shaped, and glandular, lateral veins 5–10 pairs. Capitulescences terminal and axillary, corymbose. Capitula pedunculate, involucres broadly campanulate, 5–6 mm diam. Receptacles convex, 2.5–3 mm diam., glabrous. Phyllaries 5–6-seriate, imbricate, light green with purple apices, 7–8 mm long, margins pale, without margin spines, outer surfaces arachnoid-glandular; the outer and the middle ones ovate, apices acuminate; the inner ones lanceolate to oblong, apices acuminate. Florets 50–70; corollas infundibular, purple, pubescent, glands capitate; tubes 6–7 mm long; lobes 2.5–3 mm long. Anthers ca. 2 mm long, bases rounded, apical appendages acute. Styles purple, 6–7 mm long; branches 2–2.5 mm long; sweeping hairs on the outer surfaces reaching below style bifurcation. Achenes obovate, ca. 1.5 mm long, glandular, 10-ribbed, carpopodium absent. Pappus bristles, uniseriate, 1–2 mm long, sometimes absent, deciduous. Pollen echinolophate, 6-porate, without micropuncta.

Figure 1.

Capitulescences, A–B terminal C axillary. Note that phyllaries are in 5–6 series and without margin spines.

Figure 2.

SEM micrographs, A Achene with glands and 10 ribs, B Abaxial leaf surface with cylindrical hairs and capitate glands.

Figure 3.

A–B SEM micrographs of acetolysed pollen show 6-porate echinolophate pollen. (scale bars = 6 µm).


Endemic to Thailand. Only found in Phu Phrabat Historical Park, Udon Thani province.


Rocky areas of sandstone hills, scattering in dipterocarp forest, flowering from November and December.


Camchaya thailandica is similar to Camchaya gracilis in having ovate phyllaries without spines on the margin, but differs in having 10-ribbed achenes and a broadly ovate leaf shape. Its 6-porate echinolophate pollen is unique to Camchaya (Bunwong and Chantaranothai 2008) and places it firmly in this genus. Additionally, this species has an inconspicuous carpopodium which is common in Camchaya.

Key to the genus Camchaya
1 Phyllaries broadly ovate without margin spines 2
Phyllaries broadly ovate with margin spines 3
2 Achenes 4–5-ribbed Camchaya gracilis
Achenes 10-ribbed Camchaya thailandica
3 Achenes 5 (6–9)-ribbed Camchaya pentagona
Achenes 10-ribbed 4
4 Phyllaries eglandular, margin spines to 10 mm long Camchaya spinulifera
Phyllaries glandular, margin spines to 5 mm long 5
5 Phyllaries acuminate; achenes 2.5–3 mm long Camchaya kampotensis
Phyllaries aristate or apiculate; achenes 1.5–2 mm long 6
6 Leaves with T-shaped hairs; phyllaries spinose ≤ 1 mm long Camchaya loloana
Leaves without T-shaped hairs; phyllaries spinose ≥ 1 mm long Camchaya tenuiflora

The authors thank Maejo University Phrae Campus for financial support and acknowledge the curators and staff of the following herbaria for access to their facilities: AAU, BK, BKF, BM, CMU, E, K, KKU, L, P, QBG, and US. We also thank the editor and reviewers for their critical comments.

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